Blackhawks End Season With A Loss

The Blackhawks got their tails whipped in Winnipeg on Saturday night, bringing the 2017-18 regular season to a close.

Both teams wore BRONCOS on the backs of their sweaters instead of names to honor the Humboldt team that was struck with unimaginable tragedy on Friday night.

Brent Seabrook scored the only goal in the 4-1 loss; the Hawks were already down 4-0 when his shot from the point got through.

Without Jonathan Toews, the Hawks won 21 of 54 faceoffs as a team. Andrew Copp scored twice for Winnipeg. Kyle Connor finished his marvelous rookie season with his 31st goal, and Dustin Byfuglien started the game with a power play goal, his eighth of the year.

Patrick Sharp’s career ended with a team-leading six shots on net in 15 minutes of ice time.

79 thoughts on “Blackhawks End Season With A Loss

  1. sharp will certainly rank as one of the 10 best trades ever by dale tallon; plucked out of philly for chump change that never made an nhl dent: thanks dale, thanks patrick

    look for sharp to be a superb nhl or network or blackhawk broadcaster/analyst if he wants to

    let’s get young and fast again and

    goforfour

  2. Hard to think about much other than the families and community of small town Saskatchewan today-a meaningless hockey game in more ways than one.

    Hopefully better days ahead for both hockey and the Hawks.

  3. Good luck to Patrick Sharp! Important part of the core during the Cup runs. Tinkering around the edges in the off-season will not make this Hawk team a contender. We only have 4 top 6 forwards- 88, 12, 8 & 19. We only have one top 4 D-man- Keith. We only have 1 NHL goalie- Crawford. Sikura may develop into a top 6 guy and Forsling may become a top 4 D-man. Stan has lots of work to do.

  4. The Hawks’ passing was a little better tonight than last night so that resulted in them playing a little better tonight than last night … but still not good by a long shot.

    There’s a bunch of takeaways from this game but I’m having too much fun watching Colorado beat the Blues to spend time on it now. I didn’t see the 1st period but apparently Tarasenko got injured and it out for the game. Then the Blues got hosed on an offsides challenge where Colorado scored their 2nd goal. This is fun.

  5. No more Oesterle, please, he is a laibilty on the back end. He got the longest leash and fairest shake of all the Dmen (Seabrook and Keith not applicable). We ve seen enough.

  6. We did good to get to 7th and stay ahead of the other teams throwing games (NYR).

    Depending on EDM winning or tie, were 7th pre draw. Hope the 7 ball is a top 3 pick. Would not be cool if the 8/9/10/or11 was a top 3, then we did this all for nothing.

    Only two bad yrs since 2008. 2011 (played short handed with 6 ahl players- salary cap) and 2018 (played short handed without Hoss, Hammer and Crow) where we were transitioning anyways.

    Couldn’t have gone any better for a transition yr. Even though it sucked we now have a high top pick and our normal 1st pick between 26-30.

    Good times ahead, as we get back to being a top 10 and then 5 team. Need to make proper adjustments/basically add what we had in Hoss and Hammer.

  7. On another note, we knocked STL out of the playoffs (payback for other yr) by letting COL win that game and beating STL in one of the games we had against them recently.

    MIN and CHI last yr had very good starts/records and then let up the last 20 games.

    STL this yr started 15-5 and got to 13 over early. Their not in, mainly because of COL doing good and the one hit wonder expansion team? takes a spot?

    Got to think these teams are in for it next season
    COL
    LV
    DAL

    These teams are going to do good
    EDM
    CHI
    CAL
    STL

  8. I had such high hopes for this team in the beginning of the season. We manhandled the Penguins and the Blue jackets and the season sure looked great!! Talk about a turn around, man, what a wake up call!!

    I sure am glad that this is FINALLY over. Let’s get on with the playoffs and any team that plays Nashville is my favorite team. I HATE F**KING NASHVILLE!!

    Let’s take a deep breath and get this ship back on smooth waters and going in the right direction. Let’s hope that the boys in charge make the right decisions in the off season.

    I am STILL a Hawk fan only want them to succeed. SHARPY…….thank you for 3 Stanley Cups and your love for the city of Chicago. We love you as much as you love us!!

  9. Watching the COL 3rd period and seeing STL squirm all over the ice having to play without be able to do penaltys/hooks and holds and interference is just a joy to watch.

    Speed.

  10. A few thoughts on another defensive debacle – players who need time in the A include Hillman and Edjsell plus I’m not sure where Hinostroza fits anymore

    Believe it or not I missed Jurco – at least he has a little jam around the net. He could well be on roster next year – the Hawks don’t have enough size and he’s a good size and fast and has been much more noticeable before getting sick.

    Martinsen may also back – he looked good again except for his stupid boarding penalty

    Players I’d rather not see on in top 6 on Hawks D next year – Oesterle, Gus and Rutta
    One can be a 7th D man – we need 3 new D for top 6

    My solution – package our late 1st rounder up with Rutta or Gus plus Hino or prospect, if necessary to get a decent D man

    Sign a UFA D man (like Carlson) and bring Forsling up

    I think I’ll cheer for WPG in the West – gotta love Laine’s beard (I guess that’s what that is) plus they have Buff (ex – Hawk factor)

    Looking forward to the playoffs even without the Hawks

  11. 7th place heading to lotto. Now as long as don’t fall back and maybe get lucky with a top 3. Wonder if Brady Tkachuk still around a5 number 7, if Bowman scoops him up. Oilers did a favor beating Vegas Thursday night and win again tonight.

  12. Classy of Jets and their fans tonight, Humboldt be long time getting over this tragedy. Cheering for Jets now, Blackhawks looked like a team playing for a higher pick last 2 games. Ejsdell finushed off not so promising looking. Maybe AA be back.

  13. In addition to the Avs dramatic turnaround, they are receiving a boatload of assets from the Duchene trade. Arrows straight up on this team’s future. Meantime, the Blues can think about Duncan Keith’s death-blow with 8.5 sec left while they watch the other teams in the playoffs.

    Am old enough to remember when the NHL expanded to 12 teams (1967-67). What’s it like for a team (Blues) to never have won the cup in its 51-year existence? Vancouver and Buffalo are close behind. I also remember the Leafs winning the cup in 1967. Will the HOF city break its embarrassing drought in the next few years?

    Like Wraparound, I like WPG. Buff was our biggest loss. An absolute beast with high-end skill, something that we have never come close to replacing.

    Got to root against Nashville if we want a 29th pick for Hartman, which is the best we can do.

    Tonight: Kempny – 1 goal, 1 assist; Wingels – 1 goal. An NHL Network commentator said he will help Boston in the grinding playoffs.

  14. Heading into the last game, things fell as good as possible for draft position. With the way Detroit and Montreal tanked going down the stretch it was unlikely they would have passed the Hawks – so 7th was the realistic hope and that’s where we’re at.

    Thoughts heading into next season:

    I think DeBrincat can be a solid PK guy. He anticipates well and is good at getting his stick on puck and often times makes the steal. I could see him being on one of the top two PK teams.

    I thought Ejdsell looked a little better today than the last couple games but he still needs a lot of work. It’s not only his skating, which is the area needing the biggest improvement, it’s also adjusting to the speed of the game on the smaller ice surface. He doesn’t have the time to make plays like he did in the Swedish league. He needs to learn to think and react quicker.

    Hinostroza – he’s fast but doesn’t seem to be able to accomplish anything. I question if he’s right on the verge of finishing the chances he’s getting or he’s just not a good finisher. Maybe he’s one of those guys who can’t play at that top end speed. I don’t know what it is but something isn’t working with him … other than he looks great skating the puck around … as long as he doesn’t try to make a pass or shoot the puck.

    Martinsen – someone commented that he’s fools gold. He’s a late 20’s something journeyman minor leaguer so just how good can he be? I don’t know the answer to that question but what I do know is what my eyes have seen and again tonight I observed Martinsen consistently making a good crisp pass in the d-zone to help facilitate clearing the puck. That’s noteworthy for a couple reasons – (1) he knows what he’s supposed to do and executes it well, while under duress, and (2) he’s one of the few guys on the team who is big and strong enough to hold on to and shield the puck until he can make a pass. Just about every other player on the Hawks get’s overwhelmed physically and consequently can’ execute the proper play.

    Sikura – I see the skill but he may benefit from some time in Rockford to start the season next year. Or maybe Q would have him on a line with an NHL caliber center and at this point that is not Ejdsell. I really think Sikura has when it takes to be a very productive top-6 player but he can’t carry a line by himself so he needs better line mates, which is the same for DeBeincat. Hopefully Q lines both of those guys up with either Toews or Schmaltz next season.

  15. Nashville pick depending on how far they advance.
    23rd out in 1st rd. , 27th out in 2nd, 29th out conf. finals , 30th lose in finals and 31st if they win cup.

  16. 95 points is what got Avs in playoffs. With Crawford and a quality backup goalie i don’t think anybody can reasonably dispute that Blackhswks would be there. You got to think the core players bounce back and a few less posts and a year more maturity from young forwards, this is 100+ point team and easily in playoffs. An upgrade behind Crawford and improvement on blueline through free agency and/or trade, plus a little help from pp, next year could show a positive turnaround.
    With 19, 8 at center and 12 and 88 on rightside, 20 on left with 95 who might fill that spot or at least a top 9 wing spot. Who will be other bottom 6 center if AA moved, plus a sorting who bottom 6 wingers are biggest concerns upfront.
    A dependable top 4 shutdown dman is needed at least on blueline.

  17. Lots of class shown by Winnipeg fans last night. I’m pulling for the Jets in the Cup playoffs. It would be nice to see a Canadian city win the Cup, and it would be nice to see Buff get another Cup. Of all the Hawks who have left since the resurgence, I miss Big Buff the most. As for “Core” players getting better next year….I don’t think Keith or Seabrook are getting any better than they are right now. Both had tough games last night, and tough seasons. The Hawks do not have one Blue liner to be excited about. Lots of work for Bowman this Summer, and with the cap situation I wonder how much can be accomplished.

  18. It would take a lot of luck, refs, and really good play for any team to beat TB or NAS. So what difference does it make if its 29 or 30. Its 27-30 pick, ok well take that thanks.

    COL way overachieved, they can enjoy the playoffs this yr, their prob not making it for a couple yrs after this yr. Same with expansion team. STL and CHI (and maybe CAL) will be back. COL can get better each yr though and when older teams like SJ etc arnt as good anymore that’s when COL can take their place. For example TB didn’t make playoffs, their back as a top 5 team. We will be to (so will STL).

    ER, I thought the only team of the ‘real’ bottom 10 teams that could win 5 in a row at some point in the last 25 games was MTL. Nope they were determined to suck the entire way. Thought that was our only hope for 7th. Didn’t think we would get to -5 or EDM would win they really sucked this yr.
    (makes a Huge difference when you have a good yr and then the next yr you have to prove it, when every team team plays a harder game against you)

    That’s one reason why teams like LV, COL and whoever else are in for it next yr. DAL has been back and forth the last 5yrs in this way.

  19. Ian, with all due respect, a team full of slight guys with skill isn’t going to get this team anywhere. Every other team in the league owned the walls and the front of the net against us. Saad was supposed to be one of those guys. Teams don’t fear or respect us because there is no price to be paid. I saw Sikura get swatted off the puck along the wall yesterday. The NHL is not just st a fast league. It’s a big, strong and fast league and until we get some of those guys we will draft in the top 10.

  20. Demo don’t disagree that is why i mentioned in another post about Brady Tkachuk being possibly still there at no. 7. With Habs and Wings drafting at 5 and 6 they may opt for a defensemen instead, with less heavy style hockey in east. He is committed to ncaa but there is speculation he wants to turn pro too and could contribute right away.

  21. Thanks for another year of Black Hawks hockey – disappointed at the end results but balancing on that high wire (cap problems) eventually caught up with SB and Q. Something must change to improve the Hawks (including letting the younger guys play a lot more) but at least STL is going golfing as well. If the hawks must go home early, then it`s cool that StL is as well.

  22. With the NHL lottery, the Hawks could draft 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 7th – 10th. Consensus is Dahlin will be the 1st player drafted and obviously the Hawks would love to win the lottery and draft Dahlin. But what if they get the 2nd or 3rd lottery selection and have the option of drafting anyone other than Dahlin? Should they take the higher rates forward like Zadina or Svechnikov or a slightly lower rated player like d-man Boqvist or Bouchard? Best player available or most urgent need – that’s the question.

  23. I think you take the best player available – so if have the 2nd or 3rd pick I say go for one of the forwards – they might even play in CHI next year. They would then have to address the D elsewhere via the draft, trade, UFA which they’ll have to do anyway

  24. Best player available. We need help at all positions.

    @ Demo: good post. We are way too easy to play against. I would add that we really need to raise our compete level as well. It’s not just that we don’t extract a price, a lot of our guys don’t pay much of one either.

  25. Gap is big or medium take best player. or if you just sign a high end/or 2nd pair Dman ufa.

    Small gap take what you need more, D.

    No matter what we do its going to be good for coming yrs, as we already have a good base to work with.

    Sign 91 in summer and draft Dman. or sign two top 4 Dman and draft FW.

    No matter what we do, were adding. And not just one player.

  26. This I wouldn’t go by anything. Recent yrs we havnt checked other team, we do flybys. Check them then flybys are more useful. I want league to call penaltys for late hits they let go (bullshit) but I want that checking your referring to. We do need enough guys like Hayden in there at FW and D.

    Also need to skate good and fast speed. So we can do both. Need both.

    Like you guys said best available. If that’s get faster guys skate speed more first ok then add some big dudes that can skate later. Then we can battle the right way and our skill will take over.

  27. Little did we know the season ended when Corey Crawford skated off the ice in New Jersey in December. Pretty painful after that.

    Really good point ER about Hinostroza skating a million miles an hour but getting little accomplished. Remember back to October and the outrage of him NOT making the initial roster and his insinstance that he knew he’s NHL player. Much to do about very little.

    Stan needs to have a really good offseason, starting with the draft in June. We have a great opportunity to get a blue chip prospect in the top 10. If we nab two other really good prospects that would be fantastic. Start there.

  28. Obviously our biggest need (other than goalie stability) is D but if Tkachuk is available to the Hawks you have to take him (unless they luck out and get a top 3 pick)-he probably will be better than his brother who had 24 goals in 68 games as a 20 year old. Size and skill with some edge is just what this team needs-wish we had a Seth Jones in waiting as well.

    The old argument that this team hasn’t played with an edge for many years and been successful is old-they need some of this to help the talented smaller, lighter players have space.

  29. MINN deluth had some smaller size fast skating fore checking players that worked well. Need that size/tuff as well.

    Craig, you could say that for the whole team (ex 12) a lot of outplaying other team/million mph and no finnish.

  30. The Hawks’ top teams have always been highly skilled oriented. Other than someone like Shaw, and maybe Ladd and/or Byfuglien in the first Cup run, they’ve never had a bunch of annoying/big guys that other teams dislike playing against (all three of these guys obviously contributed offensively). Hayden alone can serve this purpose so to speak, Saad as well if he wakes up.

    This is exactly why we (as fans and observers) haven’t been in a playing out the string setting in a decade, see someone different looking in Martinsen, and all of a sudden he should be re-signed and locked into the 4th line next year; give me a break.

    Let’s list the forwards off the top of my head aside from him: Toews, Kane, Saad, Debrincat, Schmlatz, Hinostroza (those are six lock of locks right there, no comparison to Martinsen).

    Let’s move on the next tier: Hayden, Duclair, Sikora, Kampf, Highmore, Jurco (all six of these players are far superior to Martinsen).

    I’m not a huge fan of Jurco, but he scored 6 goals in less than 30 games, that’s about 15 goals in a full season; he made marked improvement (compared to Martinsen, he looked like Larmer). As Tab has pointed out, Kampf is the only other reliable center that can win faceoff besides Toews. Duclair & Highmore w/ regular ice time on the right line can be difference makers. Hayden is an utter pain in the behind who is versatile on both ends.

    I left out Anisimov in case he is traded, that makes 13 forwards right there. Giving Q access to players like Martinsen stunts the growth of the team and is not for the betterment of same.

    Back-up goalie please, someone who can shoulder the load as a 1A.

  31. When u put all the eggs in a basket your going to break one. Crawford was the golden egg. That broke and SB never had a a backup ! There endith the season . Now u have all eyes on both Q & SB to prove to us that they can be as great as they think they are and they only got a year. Expect serious moves to change the same old same old. And elite players to come to reality they have to out work teams to Win. I expect SB feeling the pressure to right the line up and Q to install his fiery passion in this team to come or they will be seen the door! Enjoy the summer and watch playoffs on tv cause no matter what u can’t beat playoff hockey in any sport! My pick Vegas to go to final

  32. I am really going to enjoy watching Hayden these 5 coming yrs when were good again.

    This guy has thrussels.

  33. 1961, spot on. Would only add that there’s no guarantee Crawford ever skates, let alone plays well again. Whereas we usually learn about injuries after the season, sensing in this case the cloud of mystery as to his true condition isn’t likely to dissipate anytime soon. Bowman may well be in the market for 2 NHL goalkeepers and 3 top-4 defensemen. Not seeing that happening in a single offseason.

  34. Iceman you’ve officially lost me-compared to Martinsen– Jurco looks like Larmer? Have you been watching the last several games? There is NO separation between the two and to be honest Martinsen has shown some ability to play with a bit of pace and use vision to make some nice passes, and he is involved physically.
    (*****Again Martinsen hasn’t been a regular in the NHL for a reason, he’s a marginal talent-but so is Jurco.)

    Hayden will turn 24 next year-what is he? An answer or another fringe project. Next year will tell the tale. He deserves a full year.

  35. Bowman mentioned Hino along with Schmaltz and Debrincat as young playe4s currently on roster he wants to lock up. Imagine Hayden will be locked up too.
    Would like to see Ejdsell on the wing as he struggled a bit at center, until he adapts to smaller ice, he might feel more comfortable. Martinsen deserves a contract and can be a depth addition but not sure about handing him a nhl roster spot, seems like longshot to me. I believe there is a good chance Jurco is back on a cap friendly deal as a depth player, the 13th or 14th type forward. Duclair an enigma, probably resigned but where he finds a spot, other than as a fringe player I don’t know.

  36. When you have no number 1 defenseman and no number 1 center, your window is closed. Waiting for older vets to bounce back and improve is not a strategy. Hope is not a strategy.

    We are talking about Duclair, Martinsen, Ejdsell, Sikura, Hino, Jurco, Hayden, Kampf, Highmore as potential bottom 6 players that will improve and help us next year? None of them have shown to be difference makers or even NHL regulars at this point, although I’ll give Sikura a pass as he is just starting his career. We have some of the worst forward depth in the league, and our defensemen are in worse shape than the forwards. Our only hope is they are young, so they might improve. But lots of teams could say the same thing.

    A little perspective is in order……we were SIX points better than the Arizona Coyotes this season. SIX. And don’t tell me Crow is the only reason for that, because he’s not.

    This offseason will be very very telling. Without something major happening, expect to see more of the same for the foreseeable future.

  37. I can’t speak for anybody else Mike but i was talking about those guys because we got a look at them toward season end and speculating how they fit. They are not the saviors, as any team in any sport your best players have to be your best players or good things won’t happen. Thats what i am looking for next year is for the best players to be the best players. Whether that is core, maturing younger players or anybody acquired to as a top 4 D especially to do that. I don’t care if Saad’s stats are as good as Panarin if he can be one of the best players and contribute.

  38. Is there any audio of the end of the year presser? Ive seen some twitter comments but haven’t heard any audio.

  39. I understand Q and SB aren’t going to go out in the media and toss guys under the bus but some of these comments are just flat out bull.

    Stan Bowman on Duncan Keith: “I don’t know that he’s lost a step. A lot of it was the execution wasn’t there. I don’t know if it’s a physical thing. Sometimes you’re not on top of your game.” Pointed to Kopitar, Brown and Chara as older guys who had big seasons this year. Again with the Kings narrative that’s already getting old.

    Stan Bowman on Marian Hossa: “What I do know is that his status is unchanged. His physical condition hasn’t improved. There’s no indication he’s going to play next year, either.” Total cap circumvention. A guy who has played hockey his entire life suddenly can’t wear hockey condition. BULL!

    Lastly according to Lazerus; Bowman will look to improve the team in free agency, but likely looking at short-term deals only. In other words, don’t count on John Carlson coming to Chicago.

  40. @ Hereismike

    Hope is not a strategy. My manager used to say that 10 yrs ago and it’s still as accurate now as it was back then.

    SB’s hope Duncan Keith will rebound. They Hope Crow will be as good as he was 2 years ago. They hope Toews and regain his form. SMH

  41. Ian I wasn’t directing any comments at you just in general the roster and what seems like the inertia of having most of the same crew back and expecting different results. Granted Crow was a big removal but apart from that our team looks way behind most of the league overall.

    Believe me I am trying to figure out how to turn this ship around too. I follow this team every year through thick and thin, even years when they were absolutely terrible. It just looks like this is going to be one of the most challenging eras….I get why you resign players that won you 3 Cups to market value deals. It’s the right thing to do. The flip side is that when they get old and can’t play up to their cap hits, the overall product suffers unless you get really lucky multiple times with young guys, draft picks, trades.

    We are due some luck. Winning the lotto and taking Dahlin would set a lot of things right, as low of a chance that may be.

  42. No problem, I agree its frustrating but cleaning up the mental mistakes and having best players playing hungry and leading again good things can start to happen. We need 88,19,20, 12 & 8 to play like top 6 players and another winger to emerge. Their should be a decent 3rd line among the rest with maybe an outside signing to help.
    Keith it seemed was lost this year without Hammer or the old Seabrook to pair with. Mentally he wasn’t in it this year and he can come back from that. See what Bowman brings for help in top 4 Dmen.
    Crawford be healthy of course essential but we are getting updates that he will, so i will assume he is until i hear otherwise. Hopefully a backup is brought for an upgrade there regardless.

  43. If people are tired of hearing LA already, then we can say BOS until next yr and were good again. BOS sucked for two yrs, got 4 good young players/draft. Whala with a 41 old Dman they are a top 5 team again or close to it. We will be again. Do what BOS did.

  44. Everyone hopes that the core will bounce back but it’s not an unfounded hope.

    Toews was much better by year’s end although him missing games at the end is troubling (another concussion?), Saad was much better as well, Seabrook has been for a while – Keith can still play (he was great in that 4-3 STL win) – I think his problem was/ is mental. He can fix that (if he wants to)

    Kane keeps on keeping on.

    Crow will be back – chances are he’ll be fine after 8 months off

    They need at least 2 new D IMO maybe even 3 if you include a call up like Forsling

    The league is so close in term of competitiveness – a return to the playoffs next year is totally realistic

  45. Wraparound from what I read Toews was on the ice for full practice drills on Friday. So even though he didn’t play it would suggest to me he was very close to returning. Yes those type of things are very concerning though.

  46. @ Morrison

    To just say, “Do what BOS did” is not even remotely accurate and here is why. Boston had a player in Hamilton who was a top 9 selection and at the time was already playing significant NHL mins before his 21st birthday. The Hawks don’t have anyone on the roster with that level of talent. The Bruins got a 1st and 2nd rounders for him. Honestly, the Hawks don’t anyone playing at Hamilton’s level 3 yrs later. Since he was traded he has averaged 45 points a season.

  47. @ The Wraparound
    Man, I wish I could be as optimistic as you on this core bouncing back. Seabrook for all the criticism didn’t play as bad as he started. That being said he didn’t play good enough and the Hawks finished in last place and 6 pts better than the last team in the West Yotes. BUT Keith Woof woof woof. What an absolute disaster of a season from him. 82 games, -29, a 1.1 shooting percentage and 10 PP points. He will be 35 once next season starts. The problem with both of these guys is the amount of hard playoff minutes they’ve logged of the last 10 years. To just blindly think oh next year will be better is crazy although both have set the bar pretty LOW after this season. I really hope im wrong because I’ve loved watching those 2 play but to watch them get outskated and outmuscled by guys really sucks.

  48. Yes they would form an excellent second pairing but I don’t know of any team that has ever acquired a number 1 and number 2 defenseman in the same offseason.

    When you look at the needs this team has, and at the early stage of development of much of the youth, this really looks like a multi-year project.

    Having said that, feel free to win the lottery at the draft and then the whole outlook changes. Dahlin is playing for Sweden at the world championships, (as a 17 year old!) and is as much of a sure fire stud dman than has come along at the draft in a long, long time.

  49. @ SSHM – re: “do what Boston did” – and “do what LA did” – I see your argument but I’m going to disagree. The Bruins got a first and two seconds for Hamilton and none of those three players – Zachary Senyshyn, Jeremy Lauzon and (Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson – have played in the NHL yet. If we want to play that back, however, I’ll note that the Blackhawks traded Andrew Shaw to Montreal for two 2nd round picks that became Alex DeBrincat & Chad Krys. DeBrincat has obviously made his appearance and Krys is a nice prospect. So saying there’s no comparison isn’t wholly appropriate.

    That being said, the difference between the Hawks & Bruins is the Hawks don’t have a home grown star leading the 2nd charge as much as Marchand has become the new lead in Boston. Now, that might become Schmaltz or DeBrincat or Sikura or someone else, but we’re not there yet. The gap between 19 & 88 and the next wave of offensive leaders is wider here than it’s been in Boston… but that’s because the Hawks haven’t had a top ten pick since Kane. The only way the Bruins had the 9th overall pick was trading away Phil Kessel.

  50. I asked the question earlier in this thread (or maybe an earlier thread – don’t recall), that if the Hawks ended up with the 2nd or 3rd pick in the draft where Dahlin was off the board but they had their pick of the top rated forwards (Zadina/Svechnikov) of the next best d-man after Dahlin (Boqvist/Bouchard) – should they take best player available (one of the forwards) or positional need (one of the d-men). The responses were in agreement – pick the best player available.

    So that got me to thinking where would it make sense to play him? Both Zadina and Svechnikov are left shooting RWs. Both have played in the CHL so that should eliminate the “Russian” concern you might have with a Russian player who hasn’t played in N.A. yet. I’ve not seen either play except for a couple youtube highlights so I don’t think you could go wrong picking either one. Zadina seems a little more solidly built so I’d probably pick him if pressed. So let’s say the Hawks are lucky enough to move up and select Filip Zadina. And, let’s say he’s as good as advertised.

    Would having a more dominant offense that drive puck possession mitigate the shortcomings of the d-corps? Probably, to some extent.

    Saad-Toews-Zadina
    DeBrincat-Anisimov-Kane
    Hinostroza-Schmaltz-Sikura
    Martinsen-Kampf-Hayden

  51. Getting anywhere in the top 4 would be a huge upgrade for the Hawks. Winning first overall could be franchise altering, like it was in the Kane draft.

    That certainly looks better on the forward lines but you would still be in a position of probably needing 2 years for the young defensemen to matriculate to the NHL and come into their own, at least. Stan pretty much ruled out signing any of the top end UFAs at his year end presser. Can’t say I am disappointed in that approach either.

  52. My thought in general was the bulk of our team is better then BOS, before they got those 4 good young players. So we add 4 good young players and we would be better then they are now.

    Sure 63 is between 19/88 and 8 age wise. We have 12 and Jok as 2 good young players, get that high top pick and maybe other 1st is our 4 good young players.

    Remember BOS add some good ufa/summer players during those offseason, we havnt done that, yet.

    With what everybody had to go through this yr since that 17 playoff series, we could be in store for some creative moves and noticeable improvements this summer. Last summer it was to reset, get more young/fast guys. This summer is to be creative. Next ufa/summer and deadline is to add and were deep again.

  53. Not sure, 2009 we ufa/summer Soupy and Hammer was a prospect/then 2nd 40 played 2nd pair.

    1st pair and 2nd pair in same offseason.

  54. If were not adding any ufa/summer players. Then we must be taking our hit all at once and loading up the right way. Like we did after 2010. It paid off later with 3 stacked roster yrs.

  55. EB if the luck of the draw landed a 2nd or 3rd pick, would take either forward with their skills. I would put either one on the right with Schmaltz/Toews at center and Debrincat on left. Both look like they could handle the heavy game, Zadina a sniper who likes front of the net and Svechnikov has drawn comparisons to Hossa.
    Hereismike I can see Bowman signing Alexi Emilin or maybe a Matt Green or someone in 3.5-6m range to a 2 year or so deal. He defintely sounds like he is not looking at a long term FA. Carlson, De Haan types will want too long a deal likely.

  56. I would be ok with a mid-tier level D signing. It would buy Hillman, Gilbert, Jokiharu, Forsling, Snuggerud, Dahlstrom, etc some development time that they probably need. And give us the opportunity to walk away from one of the current defenseman that ended the season on the roster. win-win.

  57. Those thing right there sounds likely and would be inline with taking our hit all at once. Load up the way Wall likes to.

  58. Only thing is though this is the only yr were going to have a high top pick. Were looking at 22-30/and 26-30 for the 5 coming yrs. Unless we tank just one more yr, which I doubt.

  59. Mo if Bowman spends on free agent(s) this year, it could be a one and done for 2 or 3 years. Getting 8, 12 and others locked up may use up available room for 2 or 3 years. Which is likely the vicinity of length a FA contract he is looking at for above low end ones.

  60. I guess when I talk about cap space I am looking as we go along and that is not having player bonuses/cap going way up as covering younger guys. Then, as we go along, were not going to have 81 caphit and eventually prob 7 caphit to add. So I am not seeing being at the cap/nothing to use thses yrs coming up. Just bridge/contracts, trade contracts-retire for cap space, then add add add add to a good team at that point.

  61. @SSHM – I do tend to be optimistic but not to the point of ignoring reality

    I realize that the Hawks are not going to be contenders next year but a return to the playoffs is completely realistic objective IMO for reasons stated above. I don’t believe the hard miles argument – sure there are hard miles but not so hard there can’t be a bounce back – look at Bergeron, Kopitar et. al.

    I remember Keith sucking mightily in 2010 – 2011 when his head wasn’t in it – there’s a precedent there with him – but he bounced back.

    Also look at the rest of the West – other than NSH and WPG there is no other current playoff team that you can write in for the 2019 playoffs – things can change fast.

  62. LBS8844- Good point about Crawford.Stan needs to find a solid NHL goalie because without Crawford we just have a collection of AHL goalies.

  63. Hawks1961-this is the scouting-management’s main role-find a good back-up that can take on 15-20+ games and do it well. Darling in Chicago and McElhinney in Toronto are great examples. I believe they are so well liked that the team plays extra hard when they get in. Then when the Crows of the world get in the net-the team relaxes.
    Would McElhinney do as well in a main role? Probably not. Some guys thrive in that back-up role. Chicago seems to have some guys that want to be ‘the guy’ but they can’t do it. As you said AHL material, possibly not even back-up material.

  64. Nevermind my perennial posts re: Q’s handling of Kempny and anticipated handling of someone like Martinsen; those issues are child’s play.

    1961 & Noonan spot on — if we don’t have two steady goalies (Crawford & TBD by Bowman) then good night Irene. Everything starts from the net out. It doesn’t say a lot about the Hawks’ players mindsets, but it’s human nature to worry and play differently when you know your goalie sucks. This was the seminal problem w/ the Hawks this season.

    I don’t care if Q is able to roll 4 lines and the D-men pairings are settled in. If the Hawks don’t have two solid NHL goaltenders next season, they will miss the playoffs again. And the margin will be worse than this season. We can all focus on basketball season if a repeat of this year’s goaltending transpires.

  65. Before we write them off next year, let’s remember that at New Years last season the Preds were written off as contenders. The New Years before the Pens were given zero chance of winning anything in the near future. Heading into this season not a hockey insider had Boston even in tbe playoffs let alone a favorite .
    To say they can’t win the cup, at the best of times the odds of being the 1 of 31 to do so are low. Hindsight is 20/20 in singing praises but nobody saw those teams successes coming so soon. I’m sure the goaltending situation will be much better next season and see what else Bowmab adds.

  66. @ NOONAN96

    I completely agree the org is going to need to spend some money on goalie depth this offseason. I would be comfortable with Forsberg and Buerbe at RFD. The glass man should probably be cut loose. The bigger question is what type of guy do they want to commit to. There are plenty of 30+ yr journeymen goalies available; Cam Ward, Jaro Halak, Carter Hutton, Anton Khudobin. All of those guys are likely going to be looking for multiyear deals over 2 million dollars per year. Personally, I like Michael Hutchinson (28 yrs old) & Jonathan Bernier (29 yrs old). Philipp Grubauer is a very interesting choice however he is an RFA. The Hawks could potentially offer him a $1,962,986 per season but would need to give a 3rd round pick to Washington. Because of their lack of the second rounder, they couldn’t exceed that dollar amount. I have a hard time believing the Caps wouldn’t match that offer despite their cap issues. It will be interesting to see what SB decides to do.

  67. @ THE WRAPAROUND

    I agree a playoff trip is not out of the question, as a matter of fact, it’s probably pretty likely with a healthy Crow and more experience from some of the younger kids. However, I don’t see the Hawks being able to do enough to overcome Nashville or Winnipeg at this stage. So while the playoffs should always be part of the goal, winning a round or two is equally as important. It’s crazy that Hawks haven’t been on the winning end of a handshake line since Keith scored against Tampa Bay. That seems like forever ago! Colorado is likely going to continue to get better as well. Then there is the Dallas Stars (92 points) who on paper have the talent to be a much better team.

    The front office needs to be better just like the players do. The Hawks pro scouting staff has been abysmal. Canadien fans were excited to have Pierre Gauthier out of the org and he is currently running the Hawks Player Personnel. Is he largely to blame for the Hawks downward arrow? It’s possible. Ryan Stewart Director, Pro Scouting has been here over a decade did he suddenly forget how scout? Not likely but since Q and SB aren’t going anywhere the team really needs to look at other options.

  68. re: signing a defenseman – remember the failure that was the Cody Franson experiment. Also remember the Hawks currently have 8 defensemen they tried at some point during the 2017-18 season under contract already for next year NOT including Jokiharju.

  69. SSHM agree if there is going to be changes it will be in scouting area. Sure finding players like Debrincat, Schmaltz, Panarin without any high picks is commendahle. Gauthier had input in signing Darling and Raanta but the well dried up horribly since then. Nalimov and Peeters as yet are still unknown commodities. The lack defensive prospects who became top 4 calibur in Gauthier’s tenure, do you blame him or price of success with where the picks were. His problems in Montreal stemmed alot from firing a french coach and replacing him with non french coach. Plus trading Cammeleri didn’t help. I said before that a bigger committment to scouting chl seems needed, so hopefully that gets addressed but not convinced firing Gauthier is the answer.
    Tab if no defenseman is signed, does running 5, 44, 56,&82 out there every night with 2 and 7 , throw in a rookie Jokiharju or one of the others make a change for the better with a year of maturity, or just alot of the same. I hope he gets one free agent for a couple of years to let younger guys mature.

  70. Ian – honestly, we haven’t seen much/anything from Hillman at the NHL level. I like a lot of what I saw from him at DU, however. Rutta was a nice player before his injury and was never the same after. I liked a lot of what I saw from Dahlstrom during his brief time in the NHL. And Gustafsson has some obvious offensive ability but needs to avoid lapses in judgement.

    And none of us have brought up Forsling, who’s still out there somewhere in theory as a potential player.

    All of that being said, if the Blackhawks brought back a top seven of (in in specific order) Keith, Seabrook, Murphy, Rutta, Gustafsson, Hillman and Dahlstrom I’m not thrilled – but I’m also not running to Nashville to sign up for their team email newsletter either. Corey Crawford makes a lot of these guys look a helluva lot better if he’s 100%. THAT, friends, will determine the 2018-19 Blackhawks. Crawford will mean as much as anything to the immediate future of this organIzation.

    Now the backpeddle….

    if I’m the Hawks, I get Jokiharju signed asap. I trade away Rutta and Murphy for whatever I can get at the draft. I roll out Hillman + Dahlstrom as my bottom pair and look for a veteran stay-at-home type to skate w/ Jokiharju.

  71. That certainly should be an improvement, giving Hillman and Dahlstrom a shot as 3rd pair is ok with other 3rd pair options if they don’t cut it. I’m not sure if the coaches and front office still have confidence in Forsling anymore. His name is not brought up when talking about who they are high on for the future. The reason i say Emelin is physical play he brings and has played top 4 in his career, not saying his talent is the reason, plus he wouldn’t break the bank to sign. I guess alot depends on who they get in the draft with there 1st rounders too.

  72. Southside I have a bit of an in around the Holtby-Grubauer situation–everything depends on this playoff year and it could get interesting. Holtby will not like being 2nd fiddle, he’s a fierce competitor.
    One nice thing is enjoying a stress free look at the playoffs this year, and lots of great match-ups.

  73. Yes a shocker Holtby is making what $6 million? and he is NOT their starting goalie for the playoffs. That’s huge but to be fair Grubauer has earned it. I think no way they are letting that guy go anywhere unless he implodes in the playoffs.

  74. I think we can sign him for 2 yrs and caphit doesn’t matter. We do not have that elc guys during those 2 yrs, then we do. Plus 81 caphit must be getting there, if not traded.

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